How to Unclog a Sheaffer Fountain Pen

Updated April 17, 2017

Sheaffer fountain pens are elegant tools for graceful handwriting. But when the ink flow starts to balk, you may be tempted to throw your Sheaffer against the wall. Don't do that. You could damage the nib, not to mention the wall. Your pen may have become clogged with dry ink by lack of use, or it may have been filled with the wrong kind of ink. In any case, some patience and gentle care will have your Sheaffer spinning out ribbons of beautiful letters again with just a little effort.

Remove the pen cap. Flush the Sheaffer fountain pen by filling and emptying it with clean water. Ink may splash, so work someplace where the ink can be cleaned and controlled. And don't wear your Sunday best. If the pen is still clogged, it will require soaking.

Soak the fountain pen in a cup of cleaning solution that covers the nib and feed assembly, but not beyond to the barrel. The solution may be water, a 10-to-15 per cent ammonia mixture or a technical pen cleaning solution such as that made by Koh-I-Noor. If the clog is caused by the use of waterproof ink or india ink, the stronger cleaning solutions will be needed. Allow the pen to soak for 24 hours or more until the clogged ink softens.

Rinse the fountain pen with clean water. Shake out as much moisture as possible and wipe the pen dry with a lint-free rag.

Fill the pen with Sheaffer skrip fountain pen ink -- and resume writing!


Ammonia my cause spotting on some plastics. Some older Sheaffer fountain pens have parts that are not waterproof. Avoid soaking any portion other than the nib and ink feed assembly. Do not use waterproof ink or india ink in a fountain pen.

Things You'll Need

  • Sheaffer fountain pen
  • Water
  • Ammonia
  • Technical pen cleaner
  • Lint-free rag
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About the Author

Maxfield Carroll is a writer and artist whose work has appeared on various websites and in newspapers. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and journalism.